The World of Music Memorabilia
How does a writer get started in music memorabilia sales? While I was researching The Boston Jazz Chronicles, I met people with collections of souvenirs and mementos of their lives in and around music. People saved all kinds of items, far more than the photos and sound recordings I expected to find. They saved ephemera, too. I saw handbills, posters, newspaper clippings, tickets and ticket stubs, postcards, stationary, backstage passes, concert programs, business cards, events calendars, matchbooks, playbills, cocktail napkins, and invitations. As I looked at all those treasures, the collecting bug bit me, and it is only a short eBay step from being a buyer to being a seller. And you have landed in the Troy Street music memorabilia sales department.
I buy, sell and trade memorabilia and ephemera for all different kinds of music, although I am most partial to jazz, and I am especially interested in items dated earlier than 1980. I sell music memorabilia in two ways:
- Through eBay, using the seller ID rpv651. The bulk of my listings are there, but I do not have an eBay store at this time. View my current eBay listings.
- Privately through this website, using PayPal for invoicing and payment. Refer to my
Sales Policy page for the details.
Here are the broad categories of memorabilia that I sell.
Music Magazines: I generally have numerous issues of Down Beat on hand, some from the 1940s and 1950s, and the bulk from the 1960s and 1970s. I also have a rotating stock of other magazines, such as Jazz, the magazine published by Pauline Rivelli in the 1960s, and its successors Jazz & Pop and Words & Music. I might have copies of Jazz Journal, Coda, Jazz Review and Metronome. I also have many more recent issues of the industry trade magazine Billboard. I actively sell magazines on eBay, so check there to see current offerings, or contact me directly if you’re looking for something in particular.
Handbills, Flyers, Postcards: Posters are always popular collectibles. They are often emblematic of their era—think about San Francisco and those psychedelic concert posters from the 1960s. But posters, especially those showing minimal wear or damage, can be expensive. Smaller ephemera items, such as handbills, flyers and postcards, which are specific to particular events or promotions, offer a less expensive collecting alternative. Much of what I sell is also what I collect—jazz-related flyers and cards from New York City and Boston, mainly from the 1960s and 1970s. But I’ve bought and sold things from the 1930s to the 1990s, from venues from Maine to California, for artists of many genres. Have a look!
Photos: I have hundreds of press/promo 8×10 glossy black-and-white photos (and a few in color, too) dating from the 1960s through the 1990s. More than half are of jazz artists, and the rest represent a broad spectrum of musical entertainment: blues, soul, folk, cabaret, R&B, rock, pop, a few classical, and even a bit of comedy. Are you looking for Count Basie, Roy Buchanan, Johnny Cash, Kenny Burrell, Flip Wilson, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Tracy Nelson, Cannonball Adderley, or Steppenwolf? I might have it—and all photos are genuine and most are in excellent condition.
View or download my current list of available photos.
Programs, Posters and More: This is the big category of everything that isn’t a flyer or photograph. Selection is always changing—There might be artists’ media kits, books, posters and window cards, concert programs, autographs or unused concert tickets.
Visit Memorabilia pages:
Handbills, flyers, postcards | Photos | Programs, posters and more